POLITICS
02/10/2016 09:22 am ET Updated Feb 10, 2016

Donald Trump Is An Unemployment Truther

In addition to being a birther, vaccine denier and torture enthusiast.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been exaggerating the rate of unemployment in the U.S.
David Goldman/Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been exaggerating the rate of unemployment in the U.S.

The U.S. unemployment rate is 4.9 percent, but because Donald Trump doesn't think America is very great, he likes to say the rate is much higher. 

In his New Hampshire victory speech Tuesday night, the Republican presidential front-runner told supporters not to believe the official number. 

"Don't believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment," Trump said. "The number's probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent."

The unemployment rate is the number of jobless people actively seeking work as a percentage of the civilian labor force. Commentators sometimes say the official measure is too low because it doesn't count involuntary part-time workers and people who'd like to work but aren't looking. But in its monthly reports the Labor Department does provide alternate measures of joblessness that include those groups. In January, the rate that includes part-timers and discouraged workers stood at 9.9 percent. 

To come up with an even higher number, you have to start counting people like stay-at-home moms, students, the disabled and the retired -- in other words, you have to think grandma should get off the couch and junior should fend for himself while mom's at work. Trump has done this before, as PolitiFact noted when it called him an unemployment liar last fall. 

Trump suggested the fact that his campaign is successful is proof that a lot of people must be unemployed. Polls have shown Trump does well among Republican voters worried about the economy.

"Do you think we'd have gatherings like this if we had 5 percent unemployment?" he asked. "Do you really think we'd have these gatherings?"

Editor's noteDonald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophoberacistmisogynistbirther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

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